Since 1998, Reformed Youth Service (RYS) has had two Logos conferences each year, one in the summer and one in the winter. To those who attend or help make it happen it is known as Logos, although it is pronounced “logoes.” In Greek the word logos means the Word. Ed DeGraaf, the director of RYS, has seen Logos hit record numbers for the second time in three years, this past summer recording 82 people. Winter Logos, though shorter, has also been hitting record numbers, drawing almost 140 people last winter when it was in Tustin, MI. Logos is for single adults age 18–30 who want to enjoy fellowship with like-minded believers. Logos is also about the hope of gaining new knowledge of the Reformed faith, as well as encouragement to fight the good fight, to finish the race, as they head back home and back into the world. Reformed Youth Services has put together a committee of three people, who have attended Logos in past years and are still single and younger than thirty, to coordinate the Logos conferences.
This year’s summer Logos was held from June 30 to July 3, 2009 at Green Lakes Conference Center in Green Lake, WI. The Conference Center is open to other Christian organizations, and you can hear Christian music play in the cafeteria. The following is a typical Logos schedule:
The single adults have a three-hour window for registration once they arrive at the conference center. During this time they can get reacquainted with people they have not seen since last Logos. This is also a perfect time to get to know those who are attending Logos for the first time. Those who attended were from west north like Alberta, Canada, to as far east as New York. After registration the traditional supper is pizza and ice cream. After supper, everyone gathers together for the first of three sessions. The keynote speaker at this summer Logos was Rev. Jason Tuinstra, pastor of Emmanuel URC in Hanford, CA, speaking on “Blessed to Be a Blessing.” The sessions usually begin with a few announcements, as well as rewarding the person who signed up and paid first. (Most prizes are based on servitude and leadership). Prizes may be devotional or topical books, CDs, or a T-shirt. In honor of John Calvin’s 500th birthday, three books on Calvin were on this year’s prize table.
After the first evening session, everyone breaks up into their small group in which the leader will have questions to ask so everyone may get to know each better. On the second day, after breakfast, the same small groups will get to gather for devotional time. Questions are also provided for the leaders (some of the mature young men) as well as Scripture passages to read. The Scripture passage and the questions were based on what Rev. Tuinstra spoke about in the session the night before. After devotional time everyone has about thirty minutes to socialize until they need to go to their first of three workshops. The workshops were lead by Rev. James Admiraal from Cornerstone URC in Hudsonville MI, Rev. Wybren Oord from Covenant URC in Kalamazoo MI, and Rev. Thomas Wetselaar from Immanuel URC in DeMotte IN. After the workshop and another session, everyone breaks for lunch, and after lunch is free time. This year’s free time consisted of a volleyball tournament and a kayaking race. There was enough time for everyone to do both. After dinner there is another workshop, and small groups to end the second day.
The third day is more relaxed. Again it starts off with devotional time followed by the last workshop. The third day featured a day away trip, which happens to be Noah’s Ark, a water park near Green Lakes, WI. Not everyone goes, so those who decided to stay back either went bowling or did some recreational thing at the conference center. Some of the things you can do at the conference center are jet skiing, climb a tower that looks over the entire lake, or go for a nature walk. Everyone returns in the evening to be back for a Q & A session, a time to get further information, or related information from Rev. Tuinstra. After the Q & A those who volunteered for the talent show will entertain everyone, and the talent show is then followed by small groups.
The last day of Logos runs the same schedule as the other days, but the times are bumped back to allow everyone to clean up their room and have everything packed away. Pictures are usually taken after devotional time, because it may be the last time that you see some of the people in the group. After three meetings of getting to know each other and three meetings of studying God’s Word, you can’t help but feel like family. Before lunch Rev. Tuinstra gave his last speech, and then asks a question based on his first speech. The person who can answer his question correctly wins a new ESV Bible. It is hard to say goodbye after lunch. With flashes from cameras going off, no one wants to go home. There has been too much fun, and a lot of inspiration from the speakers, so that everyone wishes Logos was a day or two longer.
The next Logos will be held at Cedar Lake Conference Center in Cedar Lake, IN, from December 31, 2009 to January 2, 2010, D.V. Also, Logos has been such a hit that a West Logos is being planned. Ed and the committee are hoping, God willing, to have two Logos conferences next year, one in the California area, and one somewhere near Cincinnati, OH, so the day away trip may be the Creation Museum. It is a lot of fun, and very edifying, and more people are ever so welcome to join in. As Ed will say, “Hope to see you at the next Logos.”
David attends Lamont Christian Reformed Church